May 6, 2020 / 4:16 PM / a month ago

Democrats want $25 billion for U.S. Postal Service in next coronavirus relief bill - Hoyer

FILE PHOTO: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) walks inside the U.S. Capitol prior to the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, U.S., December 18, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats would like to see $25 billion for the U.S. Postal Service in the next major coronavirus legislation before the House of Representatives, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Wednesday.

“I think there is consensus in the Democratic Party, that’s needed,” he said in a conference call. Hoyer said the $25 billion was what Democrats believe the service needs to stay viable.

The Democratic-majority House is not in session this week to avoid possible health risks posed by the coronavirus, but its leaders have been working on another legislative package to follow previously passed measures that have already allocated nearly $3 trillion to coronavirus relief.

Hoyer said he hopes the next measure will be a bipartisan effort, saying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be discussing it with officials at the Republican-run Senate and White House. But if a bipartisan package is not possible, he said, the Democratic-majority House still plans to proceed with a vote on its priorities.

Democrats want to include $500 billion to help state governments in the next package, Hoyer said, because this was what governors estimated as their need. He said more would be added for cities, but did not give a figure. Pelosi has said the package’s total price tag could approach $1 trillion.

The legislation could be on the House floor as early as next week, depending on when it is ready, Hoyer said, adding that he does not plan to call members back to Washington until that time.

The Republican-majority Senate is in session, but its leaders are in less of a hurry to pass more coronavirus legislation, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying a “pause” is needed.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Writing by Doina Chiacu; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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